Today’s News - Thursday, August 20, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, August 25. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe.

●  ANN feature: Mary Ann Lazarus & Joyce Lee explain why they and a group of industry leaders launched a petition to the World Health Organization to work with built environment experts to develop much-needed indoor environment guidance that is currently hard to find, contradictory, and minimal at best.

●  KPF's Hana Kassem & Parsons' Healthy Materials Lab's Jonsara Ruth delve into "designing for equity and well-being in the COVID-19 Era. It is the responsibility of the designer and architect to understand the impact of our immediate surroundings on our cognitive, physical, and emotional well-being" (especially for "historically underserved" communities).

●  ThinkLab's Amanda Schneider parses new research that "highlights the need to balance the emotional and physical needs of all employees, whether they work in the office or remotely" - and talks to designers "to develop a list of best practices and create a road map" for "an eventual shift back to the shared office."

●  Mehaffy & Salingaros use "The Babushkas of Chernobyl," a "remarkable film" that follows the "elderly women who illegally returned to their houses after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster," to "raise important questions about health and the power of place - relevant in the current pandemic - we need to broaden our architectural thinking."

●  Fred A. Bernstein visits Gehry's controversial Eisenhower Memorial: Its scale "is staggering," but "in a neighborhood of overbearing bureaucratic architecture, Gehry's handiwork is gentle and unobtrusive" and "should win over even his most hardened critics. Especially if they visit at night."

●  A look at how NEXT architects and team "combine Chinese and Dutch cultures" to transform one of 102 abandoned villages in China's Jiangxi Province into "a unique art village" that "becomes an interactive environment constantly able to re-invent itself."

●  Kamin cheers "an architecturally arresting pot shop" in Skokie, Illinois: "To say that the cannabis dispensary is startling would be an understatement. The exuberant design is even more startling when you realize that this is not a new building, but the renovation of a former bank branch - it's a head-turner."

●  Sheri Koones' Q&A with Trey Trahan: "I was interested in his work because of his commitment to altering thoughts about architecture to meet the current crises plaguing" the world.

●  Gregory Wessner is leaving Open House New York to be executive director at National Academy of Design, where he "will help shape and implement new forms of service to artists and architects and reimagine cultural advocacy for the 21st century."

●  The National September 11 Memorial & Museum "reverses decision to scrap this year's 'Tribute in Light'" - it "will indeed grace the night sky over Lower Manhattan next month as was originally planned."

●  One we couldn't resist: "Here's what four iconic NYC landmarks could have looked like: These crazy construction plans never saw the light of day."

Weekend diversions + Page-turners:

●  Wainwright "goes behind the scenes at architecture's Antepavilion prize" - and meets "SHARKS!" by architect Jaimie Shorten - his "five man-eaters will blow bubbles, sing songs and deliver lectures about urbanism - if the council doesn't confiscate the fearsome creatures first."

●  Marianela D'Aprile visits "Edith Farnsworth Reconsidered" at her Mies-designed Farnsworth House that "attempts to fill the gaps in her story. One can almost feel her struggling to be human - of wanting to reclaim her identity as a self-possessed, highly respected professional woman. Well, of course she was."

●  Michelle Young brings us "#IfThenSheCan - The Exhibit" that has popped up in NYC's Central Park Zoo, and "shows six of the future 122 female statues that will be on display showcasing contemporary women in STEM careers."

●  Betsky cheers Terreform ONE's monograph, "Design with Life: Biotech Architecture and Resilient Cities" - despite its limitations, it "made me smile and hope - if architecture is going to help save our planet, I hope it does so with forms as beautiful as" these.

●  Emily Anthes offers an excerpt from her "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness": "Thousands of studies have now made it abundantly clear: Good design is powerful medicine."

●  "MPavilion: Encounters with Design and Architecture" features essays by the star-studded participating architects, and "aims to open up a broader conversation about cities, pavilions, parks and public spaces today, and their role in creating healthier places to live and work."


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